THE RUSSIAN ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, said on Friday that the border standoff between India and China is a “bilateral matter” between the two countries in which Russia did not want to get involved. He took a swipe at the US-led West on the issue, saying it was encouraging suspicions between India and China.
Alipov also reacted to French President Emmanuel Macron citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan last week that “today’s era is not of war”. The ambassador said Western leaders “conveniently” picked parts of the conversation that suited their “rhetoric” on Ukraine.
On the S-400 air defence system, he said the delivery to India is “on schedule”, adding that any delay in the construction of transport frigates has no link with the Ukraine conflict.
Responding to questions on the India-China face-off, Alipov said, “We have been very consistent that we see this is a bilateral matter between India and China. We do not want to get involved in the resolution of bilateral disputes between the two countries. We only encourage them to find a quick and peaceful resolution to border disputes…unlike some other countries who, in our view, only encourage the suspicions of India towards China and of China towards India on territorial disputes.”
Saying that Russia was “mindful of the tensions that India has with China”, Alipov said, “(External Affairs Minister) Jaishankar has reiterated that the future of Asia lies in cooperation between India and China, not in confrontation between the two…and we are very supportive of such an approach.”
The Russian ambassador’s remarks assume significance in the wake of closer ties between Russia and China in recent years, especially in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Referring to Macron’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly, Alipov accused Western leaders of avoiding parts of Modi’s interaction with Putin that they didn’t like.
“So those Western leaders who quoted the Prime Minister’s remarks on Ukraine in the ongoing UN General Assembly, in my view, conveniently pick out parts of that conversation that suit their rhetoric, shying away from what they don’t like,” Alipov said.
On the Prime Minister’s expression of concern to Putin, he said India is displaying “serious concern” on the Ukraine conflict, and said Russia too wants a peaceful resolution.
On Putin’s latest move for “partial mobilisation of troops”, he said, “We are dead set to stand for our security that cannot be compromised”.
He also said Russia would stop supplying oil to the global market if it found that the price cap proposed by G-7 countries was not fair. “If we consider the prices are not fair and unacceptable to us, we would simply stop supplying the oil to global markets and to those countries that join the US initiative on the price cap,” he said.
With sanctions imposed by Western nations having little impact, the G-7 countries and the European Union have mooted an oil price cap on Russian crude and refined products to limit Kremlin’s revenues.
The US has asked India to join the coalition on the price cap, with New Delhi saying that it would “carefully examine” the proposal before taking any decision. “India has so far taken a careful approach to this idea. It will not be beneficial to Indian interests,” Alipov said.